Archive for the ‘yarns’ Category

popping in

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Hello Friends,

First, an announcement: all of my yarn that can be seen on South Seas Knitting can now be bought from Wildfiber, my former store, which almost closed but was rescued at the last minute by two lovely ladies, Teri and Claudia. They don’t yet have e-commerce up and running but I’ll bet if you called or email them they would send you whatever you want.

I have been a recalcitrant blogger, I know. It’s because of life’s changes that we must all go through and there’ve been many in the past year. When I popped in to say hello last October, I was in New Zealand for the funeral of my only sibling, my sister, Robyn, who had been unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer a few months before, and whom I thankfully came to New Zealand to see a month before she passed away. Writing this, I still can hardly believe she’s gone. Thankfully, I am still connected to her through my nephew and niece, both of whom I adore, and who have two gorgeous children apiece.

Here are my nephew Joe’s two kids wearing their hats I knitted for them. Ruben’s hat is the one from my last post, that I had to make all over again due to the twisted stitches. Lucia’s is the Blue Sky Alpacas Kitty Hat, a genius design by Lisa Whiting. I love this hat so much I’ve made another one for my niece’s little girl.

 

 

At the end of last year I embarked on a major knitting project. After spending three years writing my two latest books, I fancied following someone else’s pattern for a change, so I went searching for something to use up my enormous stash of Koigu. I decided on Hue Shift Afghan by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence.

It uses 10 shades, with 100 permutations. I love the way Kerin combined the colors and it’s the best use of mitered squares I’ve even seen. It’s made of four sections. The only sewing is the connection of these 4 squares. I knit the whole blanket on 2 size US 5 double pointed needles [I have a habit of using the shortest needles I can whenever I can and often use a couple of dpns]

Here’s my blanket when I was about to begin the 4th and final square. I could barely believe I’d gotten this far.

and here it is, finished with the 10 rows of garter stitch edging. I made it for my son, Pete.

 

Before I parted ways with my glorious and beloved stash of yarn sold to Wildfiber, they invited me to participate in a pop up store. so. much. fun.

Over three days I saw many of my friends and former customers. It was like having a knitting shop all over again. And part of having that all-over-again-feeling, was the exhaustion at the end of each day!

There was Mary, wearing her Everyday Cardigan from Knitting Everyday Finery

 

and Karen wearing Wandering Cable Scarf. (I recently added this pattern to Ravelry). How pretty is this pink and yellow colour combination?

Now I’ll leave you with a peek in a corner of our garden at our tiny house in Santa Monica. We are now living in it. It is very very small, but I’ve been reminded that I’m a spoiled Kiwi-Californian who is used to space. We’ve made a gorgeous little garden, full of the drought tolerant plants I love so much, and 5 New Zealand pohutukawa trees in pots.

 

travel plans

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

How sweet is this first sign of spring? I saw it the other day when out for a walk in the park with my photographer friend Helen and her little girl, she of the Isla Cape who you will see (girl, not cape) in my upcoming book of baby gifts, coming out April-ish 2013. There will be a cape, but a new, exciting cabled version.

Things have been a bit topsy turvy here, due to all kinds  of changes. We’ve been getting our home ready for sale, and the FAQ  “where are you going?” is answered by the two of us, in unison: “we don’t know yet!”. It’s true. We don’t.
One short term plan is already in place: at the end of October we’re heading to California, where I’m excited to say I’ll be teaching workshops at Knit Culture Studio,  a lovely knitting shop on 3rd Street  in Los Angeles.

I’m teaching stranded colorwork for the double-layered H@T  November 3rd and 10th, and “finishing Daisy Dachshund” November 4. You can see details here.

Knit Culture are hosting a Daisy knitalong in October, which will culminate in my finishing class.

We’re also planning a knitalong for Daisy on my Ravelry group, beginning mid September. Join us!

 

outer

lining

After California I’ll be off to London with my lovely daughter to see my gorgeous son. No need to tell you how excited I am about that!

In the meantime, I wanted to share these photos of the Paisley Cuffs from Knitting Everyday Finery. Rebekka, a member of my Ravelry group who lives in Germany, made them for our knitalong. I love her idea of placing the paisley shapes on a striped background, her use of colour, and of course, the matching blue nail polish. How sassy.

 

And now to what I’ve been knitting lately. As is my habit, I began with a certain yarn, having splurged several years ago on a few hanks of some beautiful hand spun, hand dyed cashmere/silk. I found it  at the Santa Monica Contemporary Craft Market (Hmm, I’ve just discovered in writing this that it will be held the first weekend of Novermber while I’m there….. these are dangerous tidings). It was crafted by talented Lisa Souza.
Because I’ve never known the yardage, only the weight of the hanks, I’ve had a hard time deciding what to make so there it’s been, lingering in my closet for at least 8 years. I’ve now taken the plunge and made myself  Mrs Lovechild, but without the lace edging. It’s a top down shawl and I followed the pattern for the main part but instead of binding off and adding a lace panel, I switched to garter stitch (decreasing 1 in every 10 stitches to change gauge) and worked 18 rows while still increasing. Then I bound off. The neck edging was worked as per the pattern, but without the shawl collar. I’m thrilled with it. The colour reminds me of raspberry ice cream. It’s going to be just right for wearing on my travels.  I can’t wait!

June knitting

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Hi Everyone,

I’ve had fun this week, and it’s all been about gloves. First, I made these for my friend Ingrids’ birthday. She’s the same dear friend who is the recipient of a pair of Shiraz slippers. Her style is not at all frilly, so I decided to make the July Gloves minus the lace panel. I kept the opening, and made just one line of bobbles. I hope she likes them. They’re in Koigu KPM shade 1110.

Here they are….

Do any of you have something like this lying around your house? Precious little leftover balls of yarn you just can’t bear to part with?

These are all Koigu kpm, collected over the 12 years I’ve been knitting with it. There is more, actually a large zipped plastic duvet bag, but shhhhh! I find it very hard to discard small bits of yarn, so I end up with a bin full of it. Not just Koigu. I find it hard to discard any yarn. It just seems wasteful and I always harbour a vague idea that I’ll find a use for it. So, this week, I did.

I’m sometimes asked where I get my inspiration, and I always give the usual list  (textiles, travel, museums, nature, etc ) which, without examples, can seem a bit dry. So let me show you what I found recently, and what it inspired.

It’s an Indian throw made of old saris, big and small pieces patched together and then quilted. I fell in love with it, so I bought it for myself as a reward for…well, do I really need an excuse? It must have been the inspiration for my current project, gloves made from my scraps.

Here they are

I’m using the July Gloves pattern for the fingers and making up the rest.

I’m going to continue for a few days on this quest to use up my stash and will report back with some more examples.

It’s SO much fun to do this. Next up, I think it’ll be fingerless gloves with stripes.